時間托邦、短葉紅豆杉|Pacific Yew Tree#3_壓克力顏料、油彩、合成色粉、天然色粉(鈷氧化物、錫氧化物、青金石、綠土、赭石)、畫布 Acrylic, Oil, Synthetic pigments and Natural pigments (Oxide of Cobalt and Tin、Lapis Lazuli、Natural Green Earth、Natural Ochre) on canvas_120 x 180 cm_2021

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Detail

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Detail

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Detail

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隆河冰河|Glacier#12_壓克力顏料、油彩、合成色粉、天然色粉(青金石、綠土、赭石)、畫布 Acrylic, Oil, Synthetic pigments and Natural pigments (Lapis Lazuli、Natural Green Earth、Natural Ochre) on canvas_100x150cm_2021

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深時|The Glacial Landscape#3_壓克力顏料、油彩、合成色粉、天然色粉(赭石、綠土、鈷、青金石)、畫布 Acrylic, Oil, Synthetic pigments and Natural pigments (Natural Ochre、Natural Green Earth from Cyprus、Cobalt、Lapis Lazuli) on canvas_120x180cm_2021

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長年城|The Glacial Landscape#2_壓克力顏料、油彩、合成色粉、天然色粉(鈷、青金石、赭石、綠土)、畫布 Acrylic, Oil, Synthetic pigments and Natural pigments (Cobalt、Lapis Lazuli、Natural Ochre、Natural Green Earth) on canvas_120x180cm_2021

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記憶、未來、種子庫|The Glacial Landscape-Future_壓克力顏料、油彩、合成色粉、天然色粉(赭石、氧化鈷、青金石)、畫布 Acrylic, Oil, Synthetic pigments and Natural pigments (Natural Ochre、Cobalt Oxide、Lapis Lazuli) on canvas_100x150cm_2021

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深時、山海、島民|The Glacial Landscape#4_壓克力顏料、油彩、合成色粉、天然色粉(赭石、綠土、氧化鈷、青金石)、畫布 Acrylic, Oil, Synthetic pigments and Natural pigments (Natural Ochre、Natural Green Earth、Cobalt Oxide、Lapis Lazuli) on canvas_70x100cm_2021

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The Glacial Landscape

Spray、Oil and Acrylic on canvas、Ceramic

180x275 cm、120x180 cm、100x150 cm、70x100 cm、45x65 cm

、20x20x20 cm

2019~2021

Exhibition View

“消逝“與“時間性”一直是我近幾年創作所關注的核心。

 

零散的資訊畫面、文本,這些原本不相關的東西彼此交織共構出我對於時間、物 質的觀點。

 

沉積物源於地質學名詞,從物質中開展時間光譜並提供當時的環境狀態與生物活 動訊息,這讓我想到面對繪畫創作的過程以及與材料的關係。

 

1. 分散破碎的畫面

以風景繪畫為形式,我當時在想到底要如何把這些複雜、彼此又不那麼直接 相關的資訊在作品中呈現出來。

於是我把研究過程所找到的相關資料與畫面作篩選,再以 iPad 編輯做構圖, 我試著保留圖像的可辨識度,有別於我其他系列的作品畫面處於抽象與半具 象狀態。這時候“怎麼畫“與”顏料用色“就顯得特別重要,也需要進一步 鋪陳。

用色的方式我會刻意挑有標示色粉成份的顏料,暸解原始成分資訊同時搜尋 它的造型樣態。它們的型態多半讓我感到相當美麗與驚喜,常常會再特別促 使我搜尋這些成分(大多是礦物)在歷史上以及當代的應用方式,或是分佈 的地點。也因此我接觸了一些以往習慣上不會挑選的顏色,重新配置與認識 這些顏色、成分讓我用色上有了些新的想像。

零散的資訊畫面,礦物型態打散成為色粉再成為畫面中的筆觸,色塊。我覺 得畫畫的過程不再只是以直覺品味的方式表現情感或是形式效果,反而像是 透過繪畫的造型語言來重新整理編排這些物質與資訊。這些材料造型不斷改 變,本身的色彩魅力也會在這當中凸顯出來。

繪畫這時候也不再只是再現圖像的工具。

2. 用色與下筆
我有意識地去篩選 Natural Earth 系列的礦物顏料,這些大地色系多半材料來 源天然且對人體無害,也是西方繪畫史長期以來的基本色系,像是常被用作打底且乾燥速度快的 Green Earth、Calcined Red Ochre。整理研究資料的過程 中陸續選擇了 Cobalt(鈷藍)色系與 Lapis Lazuli(青金石)與前述的大地色系 做搭配。後來也陸續加入部分壓克力顏料的合成色粉色系。

鈷礦在當代是重要經濟價值原料,應用於當今多數的 3C 產品與電動車電池 等,剛果共和國擁有全世界最大的鈷礦礦藏,這樣高價值的礦產同時也對於 人體有一定程度的健康危害,特別是礦場的工作環境。另一方面,在全球經 濟的角力戰當中,擁有全世界最大稀土(Rare Earth)礦藏的中國也將觸手伸 往剛果共和國的鈷礦產業,與全世界最大礦產貿易商瑞士嘉能可公司 (Glencore)競爭這區域的資源。

 

阿富汗的青金石做為千年來的珍貴經濟資源,直到十九世紀(Ultramarine) 群青的發明慢慢取代這昂貴的顏料。在我的使用經驗上來看,青金石的色澤 仍然是群青無法比擬的,比起鮮豔的人造合成群青,青金石藍色(Lapis Lazuli) 乾凅後深沉但不污濁,帶有微微紫色調非常具有獨特魅力。

在當代的審美品味中青金石當然不如以往受到青睞,而不可忽視的是青金石 作為當地的經濟價值與勞動生產方式甚至政治動盪所反映的當代現況。

 

材料的選擇除了最原初的理由:我想使用對自己健康不會有那麼多負面影響 的材料。在這些過程中我也看到了以色彩原料為前提的組合,材料背後所蘊 含的人與自然、經濟開發、科技發展的關係。

繪畫的創作方式需要長時間面對畫布,我認為目前創作階段面對畫布,就像 是面對著許多物質、圖像、資訊,等著我透過繪畫語言來拼湊他們,而繪畫 的勞動力、想像力、畫者自身感性活動與思考狀態在這平凡的表面中來回修 改抹除漸漸顯像,對我而言仍是在處理一張風景畫。

3. 材料與健康

原本我以為油畫顏料與稀釋油對於人體傷害是較大的,而壓克力顏料的快乾 效率更適合我的畫法。後來才理解到,壓克力顏料的各式合成色粉與塑化媒 介這些雖然味道不強烈但反而對人體更具傷害。於是我的主基調,油彩,除 了盡量找有標示色粉成份的顏料,也大量減少稀釋劑的使用。油彩基本上可 以挑選到許多天然色粉的色系與植物所製成的乾性油(例如:罌粟油、胡桃 油、亞麻仁油),也不會有令人不舒服的味道。

4. 科技

記得我媽曾跟我說過她的樂觀想法:「科技越來越發達,對於疾病醫治的藥品 與治療方式也會越進步。」

科技的推進造就了許多新的可能,對於自然的再發現也找到許多延續人類生 命的方式。不過人類生命的進程推演是逐漸步向衰退,這兩個時間軸彼此拉 扯。

短葉紅豆杉(Pacific Yew Tree)與桃實百日青(Podocarpus nakaii)的樹皮萃 取物皆具有作為抗癌藥物的成分,這些物種在現在因環境開發逐漸瀕臨絕種。 人類在別的物種上發現延續自身生命的解方,同時許多尚未被知曉對人類有 益處的物種也可能在環境開發中早已消失。

自然植物樣態的魅力本來就是繪畫長久以來的不死主題之一,特別是中國文 人畫,這兩種植物的樣態吸引著我,而他們背後的意義是我選擇入畫的理由。

5.風景畫

6.時間性與地質學的啟發

 

起初透過冰河的舊明信片作為取材。想以一個跨越文化背景一看就能有感的 當代風景做為繪畫的主題。如同中國山水文人畫,在一個風景中包裹著複雜 的思緒情感與訊息。繪畫在這時代要處理這樣複雜的資訊自然不比其他媒材 來得有效率或是直接,但就是因為這樣才值得我做探索。

冰川作為一個難以察覺改變與緩慢移動的自然狀態與詞彙(glacial),在當今 的變化,劇烈地可見甚至淒美。回想在冰島旅行的身體經驗,黑色沙灘上大 大小小鑽石般的冰塊皆是旁邊大冰河湖的融冰漂流過來擱淺至此。

在閱讀《地質學家的記時錄》(Timefulness)這本書裡認識到挪威 Svalbard 這 個「無時區」。一個沒有人為劃分時間計算的區域是一個怎樣的區域?雖然我 沒有親自到達那裡,但這樣跳脫人為劃分的區域令我感興趣,一個由自然宰 制的時間,身體感受的實在時間。然而,在深時(Deep Time)的時間觀裡, 人類的活動只是地球演化時間中的片刻微秒,我們的身體時間經驗微小到令 我難以描述。或許也是這樣,讓我更加質疑宗教的時間觀念。在我的文化養成裡,知天命、樂天,或許更應該被純粹看待成在這個星球上的生存本能與 自然循環。

由於 Svalbard 群島位於北極圈,氣候變遷的當今,北極海航道所蘊含的大量 資源也成為大國之間的政治經濟角力(美國、加拿大、挪威、俄羅斯),也算 是氣候變遷的最佳受惠者吧。

從歷史的角度來看,位於 Svalbard 群島的主要城市:Longyearbyen 這個地方 經過 20 世紀初煤礦產業的開發,同時附近冰川又保存地球上的諸多化石,現 今全世界最重要的種子基因保存資料庫(Svalbard Global Seed Vault)也建築 在這些過往作為資源開發後所遺留下的煤礦坑道當中。對我這個遙遠的亞洲 人來說這些場景像是帶有末世感的科幻電影。然而這正是看似離我們遙遠卻 緊密貼近生活片刻的現況。而這座小鎮名稱取自當初來這開發的美國商人 John Munro Longyear,有些中文翻譯稱作「長年城」,在這裡更顯得特殊與詩 意。

7.跨越地理限制與時間

8.移動身體

 

觀者移動身體觀看作品,貼近與拉遠,可辨識的圖像彷彿也漸漸破碎化地在 具象與抽象色塊、筆觸之間游移擺動。

9. 高山森林與認同

其中一件作品的圖像組成取自台灣的山林,特別是雲霧帶的檜木林。在台灣 島上不同的學門似乎都有尋找這座島的起源與認同的焦慮感。在深時的時間 觀裡,這座島因來自各地物種的遷移,經過長時間的演進,在這片土地上他 就是他自己,自然形成屬於自己的獨特意義,而不只是外在樣貌。

我在過往生物地理學的植物學家研究過程中看到,不斷找尋一個“台灣特有 種“的企圖,像是早田文藏以台灣為名建立的新屬-台灣杉屬(Taiwania),雖 然之後也在中國發現了相同的物種而被推翻。

這次作品取用的內容意象,看似離這片土地遙遠,但試著以多重併置的方式 去拼湊一個認同的可能。超越區域地理與人為疆界的限制。一個代表性的符 號與物種難以表達這片土地,而多重的線索與時間觀帶來更多元的包容性視角。認同自己與世界的相互關係。

 

Scattered, information-filled images and texts, which are previously unrelated, have been interwoven to co-create my perspective on time and material.

 

Sediments is inspired by the geological term and allows a material glimpse into the temporal spectrum that provides messages for understanding the environment and biological activities of a certain period. This brings to mind the creative process of painting and its relationship with material.

 

1. Scattered, Fragmented Image

Using the form of landscape painting, I contemplated on how to display such complex but somehow unrelated information in my work.

 

So, I first carefully selected relevant materials and images found in my research and used iPad to edit and create the composition. I tried to render the images still recognizable—this approach is different from my other series of abstract and semi-figurative images. Here, “how to paint” and “the use of paint and colors” became crucial matters that required further development.

 

Regarding my use of colors, I have intentionally chosen paint that specifies its pigment composition. This allows me to obtain information of the original ingredients to search for their physical appearances and forms, which I usually find quite beautiful and surprising. Therefore, these discoveries often encourage me to research into the historical and contemporary use of these ingredients (mostly minerals) or their distribution locations. Consequently, I have come into contact with colors that I normally would not pick. The re-arrangement and new understandings of these colors and their composition have enabled me to imagine their use in a way.

 

As scattered information, minerals are broken up into pigments before the are used and converted into brushstrokes and color blocks on the canvas. To me, the process of painting is no longer the expression of feelings or formal effects through one’s intuition and taste. Instead, it has become the re-organization and re-arrangement of matter and information through the formal language of painting. As these materials and forms change constantly, the charm of the colors is also highlighted during the process.

 

Painting, in this case, is no longer an instrument of image representation.

 

2. Use of Colors and Begin to Paint

I consciously chose the mineral pigment of the Natural Earth Paint series. These pigments in earth tones are mainly made of natural materials that are harmless to the human body. Moreover, they are also basic colors in Western painting history, such as “Green Earth” and “Calcined Red Ochre” that are often used to create the foundation and dry very fast. During the process of doing research, I also chose the cobalt color scheme and lapis lazuli to be combined with the earth tone color scheme. Later, I added the synthetic pink color scheme of acrylic paint as well.

 

Cobalt is a source of important economic value in the modern times and used in the production of many 3C products and electric car batteries. The Republic of the Congo sits on the largest cobalt mines in the world. However, such high-value mineral also presents certain health risks to the human body, especially the working environment of the mines. On the other hand, in the midst of the global economic wrestling, China, who possesses the largest rare earth mines worldwide, has also reached its hand into the cobalt mining industry in Congo, competing with Glencore, the world’s largest mineral trading company from Switzerland, for the resources in the region.

 

Lazuli lapis from Afghanistan has been viewed as a precious economic resource for over a thousand years. It was only until the invention of synthetic ultramarine that this valuable pigment was slowly replaced. However, based on my experience of using the two pigments, synthetic ultramarine is still no match for the color of lazuli lapis. Comparing to the vibrant color of synthetic ultramarine, the blue of dried lapis lazuli is deep and clear, with a faint purple tone that adds to its unique charm.

 

Regarding contemporary aesthetics and taste, the preference of lapis lazuli has been obviously decreasing; but one thing that cannot be ignored is that lapis lazuli as a form of local economic value, labor production and even political instability has reflected the modern situation.

 

In addition to the initial reason, the choice of material also includes the fact that I want to use materials that create less negative impact on my health. During this process, under the premise of pigment material combinations, I have also seen the relations among humans and nature, economic development and technological development through these materials.

 

The creative process of painting requires one to face the canvas for a long time. For me, facing the canvas in my current creative stage is similar to a process of putting together various matter, images and information through the painterly language. Moreover, the labor in painting, the imagination and the painter’s perceptual and intellectual activities will be gradually revealed throughout the process of repeatedly modifying a seemingly ordinary surface—this, for me, is still the making of a landscape.

 

3. Material and Health

Previously, I had thought that oil paint and thinner presented more harm to the human body and that the fast-drying acrylic paint was more efficient and suitable for my approach to painting. Now, I have realized that the range of synthetic pigments and plasticized agents used in acrylic paint, though carry less pungent smells, are more harmful to the human body. Therefore, for my main medium, oil paint, I have chosen as much as possible paint that specifies the ingredients while reducing extensively the use of thinner. When it comes to oil paint, there are many color schemes made of natural pigments and plant-based dry oils (e.g., poppyseed oil, walnut oil and flaxseed oil) that do not have unpleasant smells.

 

4. Technology

My mother once told me her optimistic view, saying that “as technology advances, medicine and medical treatments to diseases will progress as well.”

 

The advancement of technology indeed has brought about many new possibilities; and our rediscoveries in nature have also provided means to extend the human lifespan. However, the evolution of human lifespan seems to be slowly moving towards a decline. The two timelines are moving in a conflicting manner.

 

The bark extracts of both Pacific Yew Tree and Podocarpus nakaii are components to produce anti-cancerous medicine. However, the two species are facing the fate of distinction due to human development of the natural environment. The human race has found means to extend its lifespan from other species; yet, at the same time, many unknown, beneficial species have been disappearing during the process of human development.

 

In the period of Japanese rule, Podocarpus nakaii was even a common wild species found in huge quantities. Later, as the regions surrounding Sun Moon Lake were developed, the number of the species gradually decreased.

 

The enchantment of natural plants has always been a lasting motif in painting, especially in Chinese literati painting. The appearances of the aforesaid two species are attractive to me, and the meaning behind their appearances is why I have chosen them as my subject matter.

 

5. Landscape Painting

 

6. Temporality and Geological Inspiration

At first, I drew my inspiration from old postcards of glaciers because I have wanted to choose a contemporary subject of landscape painting that transcends cultural background and is appealing to all. Like in Chinese literati landscape painting, a landscape is embedded with complex ideas, emotions and messages. In this era, painting might not be an efficient or straightforward choice to deal with such complicated information as other media; however, this is precisely why it is worth exploring.

 

Glacier, as a nearly imperceptible and slow-moving natural phenomenon and terminology (glacial), has demonstrated drastic and even desolate changes nowadays. Looking back on my travel in Iceland, innumerous pieces of diamond-like ice scattered across black sandy beaches were grounded melted ice floated from the nearby glacial lake.

 

When I read (2018), I have learned that Svalbard in Norway is a “time-free zone.” What is this zone like if it is without the manmade concept of time? Although I have not had a chance to visit the region, but the idea of a time-free zone is intriguing—a place where time adheres to nature and is only perceived through one’s physical senses. On the other hand, the concept of “deep time” informs us that human activities only take up maybe a few nanoseconds in the time scale of Earth’s evolution, and our physical experience of time is so microcosmic that it becomes inexpressible. This is perhaps the reason why I have grown more suspicious of existing concepts of time in religions. My cultural upbringing tells me that one should know what is pre-decided by fate and be content with it. However, perhaps one should simply see it as a survival instinct and part of the natural cycle on this planet.

 

Svalbard is located within the Arctic Circle. As climate change progresses, the vast number of resources found along the Arctic shipping routes has triggered politico-economic competitions among various powerful countries (USA, Canada, Norway, Russia), who can be said to have benefited from the climate change in this regard.

 

Historically speaking, Longyearbyen, the main city in the Svalbard archipelago, has undergone the development of the coal industry in the early 20th century. In the meantime, the glaciers nearby have preserved innumerous fossils on Earth. It is also the location of the most important Svalbard Global Seed Vault, which makes use of existent coal mine tunnels from past endeavors of resource development. To an Asian from a faraway place, these scenes look like an apocalyptical sci-fi movie. However, this is a situation that seems remote but is closely related to our current life. The town is named after the American businessman, John Munro Longyear, who came to develop the place. One of the Chinese translations of its name means “a city of years,” which sounds rather unique and poetic.

 

7. Surpassing Geological Restrictions and Time

 

8. The Moving Body

As spectator moves his or her body, closer or farther away, to view a work, the identifiable images seem to become fragmentized, lingering and oscillating between figurative and abstract blocks of colors and brushstrokes.

 

9. High-mountain Forests and Identity

One of the works comprises images of mountain forests in Taiwan, particularly the Taiwan cypress forest in the cloud belt. Different disciplines in Taiwan seem to share an anxiety about the origin and identity of this island. From the perspective of deep time, this island, together with species that migrated from different places, has undergone a long process of evolution. Therefore, these species on this island are unique and unlike any others. Nature has created its distinctive meaning rather than just the external appearances (that have become symbols?).

 

I have detected a persistent effort to find “endemic species of Taiwan” in the biogeographical studies of botany, such as “Taiwania,” the new genus established by Hataya Bunzo, which was removed due to the finding of the same species in China.

 

The imageries used in this project might look remote from this place, but I try to put together a possibility of identity through multiple juxtaposition to surpass the limitations of regional geography and manmade boundary. A representative symbol and species cannot in fact represent an entire place, and multiple clues and temporal views can introduce a more diverse and inclusive perspective to help achieve self-identity and a relationship with the world.